CHESTER, Pa. – The absences of Kalifa Cissé and Matt Reis prompted questions ahead of New England's 1-0 defeat at Philadelphia on Saturday.
Revolution coach Jay Heaps offered a simple explanation to the quandary after the game: both players needed a little bit of time to recover from injury complaints.
Cissé entered the visit to Toyota Park with tightness in his right groin. He made it through that match without limping off, but the issue persisted during the week and ultimately ruled him out of the trip to Philadelphia.
Reis irritated his left knee on the way to three points against the Fire. He missed at least one training session during the week and sat out this trip in a bid to return to full fitness ahead of the home opener against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
Although both Cissé and Reis could have played at PPL Park if the circumstances warranted their presence, they sat out the affair in a bid to ensure their health going forward, according to Heaps.
“It was precautionary,” Heaps told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “Some of the knocks they took in the Chicago game just didn't heal quickly enough. It's more precautionary. Both of them could have played if we had to [play them], but we didn't want to lose them for a longer period of time.”
Similar priorities prompted the halftime removal of Clyde Simms after the central midfielder tweaked his hamstring during the first half. In light of the soggy conditions and with Andy Dorman available on the bench, Heaps opted to remove Simms to allow him to rest the knock.
“It was a little bit of an issue with his muscle,” Heaps said. “It was a little bit precautionary because it was such a heavy field. We wanted to make sure that it wasn't a long-term issue.”